The original movie was released in 1988 and was a fantastic horror movie introducing a monstrous creature known as Pumpkinhead summoned by someone who wants revenge. It was one of the best horror movies of the 80s. A joy to watch & a recommendation for every horror movie fan to see. Our review can found here.
Its 1994 sequel, Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings didn’t manage to follow that up but was still an entertaining watch. Our review of that movie can be found here.
That seemed to be it for the series until 2006. When the third film in the series, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes was released. It showed promise with its devotion to the original by bringing back Lance Henriksen. As well as giving us a mix of practical and CGI effects.
It’s a real shame that it offers so little fresh or interesting that it inevitably feels like a chore to get through. That and the CGI parts of the movie are embarrassingly bad. It is a SyFy movie after all.
In a small town the local mortician (Doug Bradley) and his family have been doing some really bad stuff. Rather then treating the dead with care and respect, they have been selling the organs and then dumping the bodies in the local swamp.
The townspeople find out and enraged, get the local witch to summon Pumpkinhead through the rotting body of Ed Harley (Lance Henriksen). The monster sets out to do what it was summoned to do but its frenzy is indiscriminate. It needs to be stopped but how?
The story is unnecessarily convoluted to the point of distraction. Resulting in far too many characters played by forgettable actors clogging up the screen. Even strong horror icons like Lance Henriksen and Doug Bradley put in disappointing performances. Why would they bring their A-game to this though?
The practical effect of Pumpkinhead match up well to the original monster design and it still holds some semblance of threat. However, that disappears when the CGI takes over and it looks no better then a cheap cartoon character. Shots of the monster climbing up walls look so terrible you have to wonder why they even bothered to include them.
Ultimately that would be passable if the movie was exciting or interesting but it isn’t. Instead it plays out like a standard slasher but with characters you won’t care about in the slightest. Perhaps the biggest issue with the movie though is how little atmosphere exists. What made the original so unique is completely lost here.
Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes